A driver is distracted when they fail to pay attention to the road. Even distractions that last for a second or two can be long enough for a serious accident to occur. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, they might miss an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian, causing a collision that leads to severe injuries.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a distracted driving accident, you can bring a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible driver and their insurance company. For more information, reach out to a car accident lawyer.
In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment after your car accident, you should talk with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area. Your lawyer can review the circumstances of your accident and determine if you are eligible to file a legal claim. If so, your lawyer can file the claim on your behalf and negotiate a settlement offer with the insurance company adjuster.
The right lawyer will be invaluable in obtaining the compensation you need for your lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. This can be a difficult process, so you want experienced legal assistance.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is a type of negligent driving. Numerous distractions in a vehicle can divert a driver’s attention away from the road.
Potential vehicle distractions include:
- Loud music playing in the vehicle
- Children roughhousing in the back seat
- Cellular devices, including tablets, phones, and GPS device
It is easy for distracted drivers to miss an abrupt traffic back-up or other roadway emergencies. As a result, the driver might negligently cause a crash that injures other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. When that happens, the accident victim can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries in a roadway accident resulting from negligence, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible. Your lawyer can determine how your accident occurred by reviewing the police report, speaking with eyewitnesses, and, if necessary, talking to an accident reconstructionist or other expert. Once your lawyer determines that you are eligible to file a claim, your lawyer can do so and begin negotiating favorable settlement compensation on your behalf.
Accidents that Result from Distracted Driving
When drivers fail to watch the road, they can cause serious accidents, which lead to driver and passenger injuries. The type of accident that occurs will depend upon the locations of the vehicles, their speeds, and their directions. Some of the most common accidents that result from distracted driving include rear-end crashes, sideswipe accidents, broadside collisions, and head-on collisions.
A rear-end car accident happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the back of another vehicle. These accidents can occur on busy highways, especially during rush hour when traffic backs up quickly. They can also happen at traffic intersections when a rear driver fails to pay attention or follows the vehicle in front of them too closely. When a driver is not paying attention to the road, they may not have the space or time to react to an emergency situation that suddenly arises. Consequently, they may negligently cause their vehicle to strike another vehicle’s rear, causing the occupants to suffer serious injuries.
A sideswipe accident happens when the sides of two vehicles strike one another. These accidents are especially common in busy traffic conditions on multi-lane highways. When a driver fails to watch the road, they may negligently cause their vehicle to veer over into another travel lane, striking a vehicle in that lane. In some instances, the force of a sideswipe impact might push the other vehicle into a different lane—or off the road completely. In either instance, the vehicle’s driver and occupants can suffer severe injuries due to the impact force.
A broadside collision, sometimes called a T-bone accident, happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. These accidents usually occur at traffic intersections, where the at-fault driver runs a stop sign or a red light. They may also occur when the responsible driver negligently fails to yield the right-of-way when merging onto a highway.
When drivers fail to watch the road sufficiently, they often disregard stop signs, yield signs, and red traffic lights, entering roadway intersections at the wrong time. When that happens, they might negligently cause their vehicle to strike another vehicle moving in an adjacent direction.
Finally, distracted driving may cause a head-on collision. A head-on accident happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another vehicle. Moreover, in a head-on crash scenario, the vehicles usually move in opposite directions on a two-lane roadway, with one travel lane proceeding in each direction.
When the driver negligently turns their head or looks down, they might cause their vehicle to cross a double center line or concrete median, striking the other vehicle head-on and causing the occupants to suffer serious injuries. When head-on collisions happen at high speeds, fatal injuries sometimes result.
If you or a person you love suffered injuries in a crash resulting from distracted driving, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area immediately. Your lawyer can help you file the appropriate claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company and pursue the full settlement compensation that you deserve.
Injuries in Distracted Driving Car Accidents
The injuries that an accident victim suffers in a distracted driving collision depend upon various factors, including the type of accident that occurs, the speeds of the vehicles, and the way in which the accident victim’s body moves in their car upon impact.
In rear-end accidents, the victim’s body can move abruptly forward or backward—or from side to side—causing a soft tissue whiplash injury. At other times, a part of the accident victim’s body might strike something in their vehicle, such as the headrest, dashboard, steering wheel, window, or door frame, causing a fracture or broken bone.
Victims of distracted driving accidents may also suffer internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis injuries, and even death.
As soon as possible after a car accident, the accident victim should seek follow-up medical care and treatment as quickly as possible. A medical provider at a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room can examine the accident victim and, if necessary, order imaging studies. The provider can then use the results from these X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, to confirm the accident victim’s medical condition.
If the accident victim requires emergency medical treatment, the provider can render that treatment right at the emergency room. Alternatively, the provider can recommend follow-up care with a primary care physician, physical therapist, neurologist, or orthopedist.
Seeking prompt medical treatment after a car accident is one of the most critical steps an accident victim can take. When accident victims fail to seek immediate medical treatment—or when they fail to treat continuously for their injuries—insurance companies and their adjusters often become skeptical.
Adjusters usually assume that accident victims who delayed their treatment did not suffer severe injuries in their accident. Consequently, the adjuster may offer them little or no monetary compensation to settle their personal injury claim or lawsuit.
While you focus your attention on getting better, your lawyer can handle all of the legal aspects of your personal injury case. In addition to gathering the necessary documents, including your medical records and lost wage statements, your lawyer can begin drafting a settlement demand letter and assembling a complete demand package for the insurance company adjuster’s review.
Once you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can forward this demand package to the adjuster handling your claim. If the adjuster formally accepts liability for your accident, they and your lawyer can begin negotiating a settlement offer.
You have the final authority when rejecting or accepting a pending settlement offer. Your lawyer can help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer—or reject the offer and file a lawsuit in your case. If you file a lawsuit, your lawyer may still continue negotiating with the insurance company adjuster on your behalf and working to bring your case to a favorable conclusion.
Filing a Timely Car Accident Claim—or a Lawsuit in Court
Victims of distracted driving accidents only have two years from their accident date to file a claim or lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. If the accident victim does not take timely legal action, they may inadvertently waive their right to recover the damages they deserve for their injuries. If the accident victim files their lawsuit even one day late, the court will not accept the lawsuit.
Therefore, it is essential that you speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible after your collision. If time is running short, your lawyer can swiftly file a lawsuit in the court system and begin negotiating a settlement offer with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. By retaining legal counsel early on in the process, you safeguard your right to recover the monetary damages you deserve for your injuries.
Potential Damages in Distracted Driving Car Accident Cases
If you suffered injuries in a distracted driving car accident, you might be eligible to recover various damages.
The damages that car accident victims obtain depend on:
- The severity of their injuries
- The extent of their medical treatment
- Whether or not they missed work time due to their injuries
- Whether they sustained a permanent injury in their accident
A permanent injury is likely to last for the remainder of the accident victim’s life—and will cause them to experience ongoing symptoms. To establish that a particular injury is permanent, a healthcare provider must state in a medical record, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the injury is unlikely to improve with time.
If the accident victim had to miss work time due to their injuries, they can bring a lost wage claim. To prove lost wages, the accident victim will typically need documentation from their employer, which shows the days they missed from work—and the total amount of money they lost. If they had to switch careers or jobs due to their injuries and take a pay cut, they might be eligible to bring a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition to lost wage compensation, accident victims can recover damages for their mental distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of spousal companionship, loss of the ability to use a body part, permanent disability, and loss of life enjoyment stemming from their injuries. A medical provider can causally connect certain injuries to the accident and testify on your behalf at a discovery deposition or jury trial.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can help you maximize the damages you recover in your personal injury case. If the insurance company refuses to take your case seriously and will not offer you the damages you need, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and, if necessary, take your case to a jury trial or binding arbitration hearing.
Call a knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer Near You Today
If you have suffered injuries in a car crash that a distracted driver caused, time is of the essence. A skilled car accident lawyer in your area can promptly file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf, aggressively negotiate a settlement, and, if necessary, file a lawsuit for damages on your behalf.
It is often the insurance companies that you must go after to obtain compensation after you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident. They have vast resources and teams of people who do not represent your interests. When you promptly retain experienced legal counsel, you can rest assured that your lawyer will have your legal interests at heart throughout every stage of your personal injury case. Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you maximize the settlement compensation, jury verdict, or arbitration award that you receive and will zealously advocate for you at all courtroom proceedings.
Contact a lawyer today to receive your consultation.